Things couldn’t be going any better for the Calaveras High School boys’ soccer team. Calaveras beat Argonaut 5-0 Thursday night at Frank Meyer Field on senior night to end the regular season and then got good news when the playoff brackets were released Friday afternoon.
Calaveras, who finished the Mother Lode League season 6-1-3, received the No. 5 seed in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division V soccer playoffs and will take on No. 4 Delhi Tuesday in the opening round.
Over the last two seasons, Calaveras has had to play in the D5 brackets, which ended championship dreams quickly with big losses to Oakdale (2018) and Livingston (2019). And also, being placed in an 8-team bracket, rather than a 16-team D4 bracket, Calaveras only has to win two games to reach the section championship.
“To put it mildly, we are thrilled,” Calaveras head coach Rob Leetham said about getting the No. 5 seed in the D5 bracket. “In all honesty, in years past, being moved to division IV felt like a death sentence. In division V, at least we are in the conversation. But D5 is no cake walk with great teams like Linden, Hilmar, Escalon, and of course Summerville, our rivals from the Mother Lode League.
Calaveras will take on No. 4 Delhi, who finished the season 9-5-4, while going 9-2-3 in the Southern League. The Hawks finished third in the standings behind Waterford (11-0-3) and Le Grand (10-1-3).
Calaveras enters the postseason feeling great, having won three games in a row. On Thursday, Calaveras celebrated senior night and enjoyed a 5-0 shutout over Argonaut. Senior Andrew Celli scored three goals, while Carter Mabanag and Daniel Acevedo each scored once. Senior Harmann Shergill recorded three assists, while junior Jamie Espiritu and senior Bennie Hesser also finished with an assist.
“It was a great senior night for our three guys with Celli getting the three goals, Harmann the three assists, and Bennie with another assist and overall great play,” Leetham said. “I can't put into words how much those three have meant to our program over the years.”
No. 5 Calaveras will take on No. 4 Delhi at 6 p.m., Tuesday in Delhi. The winner of that game will take on the winner of No. 1 Linden vs. No. 8 Hughson.
“Our team is really on a roll heading into the playoffs,” Leetham said. “We had another shutout for our defense and our offense is running on all cylinders. But, first things first; on the road we go, to face a tough Delhi team.”